Wonder Woman was around since December 1941 and immediately gained a large following. To this day, she is one of the most widely known female superheroes. However, she was (arguably) not as popular as Superman and Batman until the Wonder Woman movie came out in 2017. Now that’s when she truly exploded in popularity. And with that explosion in popularity came an explosion in misconceptions about Wonder Woman as a superheroes. Here are 10 things many people get wrong about Wonder Woman!
The Movie Was True to Her Origin Story
While the movie does portray Wonder Woman’s origin story, it doesn’t paint the full picture. In fact, Wonder Woman has had multiple origin stories over the course of her nearly eighty-year comic book wrong. The movie did portray most of the basics of one of the origin stories accurately though: she is an Amazon warrior champion, she came out of hiding to defeat the Nazis, and she was sculpted from clay and given life.
However in other origin series she has been portrayed as the daughter of Greek god Zeus and goddess Hippolyta.
That Her Lasso is a Glorified Lie Detector
The Lasso of Truth is arguably one of the most iconic superhero weapons/tools. It’s as recognizable as Captain America’s shield, Batman’s bat-themed gadgets, and Aquaman’s trident. However, the lasso’s abilities don’t stop at making people tell the truth. It can also break hypnotic spells, protect people from magical attacks, and, well, generally be used as a lasso to inflict damage.
Furthermore, before Wonder Woman was given the power of flight, she was shown to use her Lasso of Truth to create air currents that would propel her into the air.
That She is a Complete Pacifist
While it’s true that Wonder Woman strives to bring peace wherever she goes, she does not have the same rigid “no killing” mindset that makes Batman need to fight Joker time and time again. In fact, when Maxwell Lord made Superman turn on his allies and friends, it was Wonder Woman’s decision to kill him that turned the tide of the story arc and restored order to the Justice League.
She is a Proponent of US Values
Because most of the stories Wonder Woman is involved in are rooted in the United States or display attitudes common in the US, many people have jumped to the conclusion that Wonder Woman is DC Comics equivalent of Captain America. While Batman, Superman, Aquaman, etc. are busy fighting local crimes or preventing global catastrophes, Wonder Woman has often had storylines that show her appearing in various cultures and helping out there.
In fact, in one of the most renowned runs of the Wonder Woman comics, Spirit of Truth, she is shown helping women all around the world, stopping terrorists, and participating in international negotiations. However — Wonder Woman is nobody’s messenger — she is an Amazon warrior and her goal is to bring peace, not to spread American values. That’s just a coincidence.
She is Weaker than Superman
While Superman is basically invincible, that does not make him stronger than Wonder Woman. Whereas Superman is strong and sturdy — Wonder Woman is clever and agile. Furthermore, Superman legitimately has a weakness (Kryptonite), while Wonder Woman is truly invincible. She is, after all, basically a goddess.
And if that’s not convincing, then in the aforementioned plot line where Superman is controlled by Maxwell Lord — Wonder Woman literally beats him.
Wonder Woman was Always a Feminist Icon
While the creation of her character was meant to set an example for girls all around the world, Wonder Woman wasn’t always shown to be fierce, strong, and ready to jump into action. Sure, in 99% of her storylines she is completely in charge, there was that one comic run of Justice Society where Wonder Woman was, essentially, a secretary for the rest of the team. This happened in 1942.
Since then the DC team made sure something like this wouldn’t happen again. Good.
Wonder Woman is Boring
Wonder Woman doesn’t have the absolutely astounding popularity of Superman. Wonder Woman also doesn’t have the brilliant roster of villains of Batman. Wonder Woman really cares about diplomacy and peace in the world. Somehow, these three factors lead many people to believe that Wonder Woman is boring.
But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Wonder Woman comics usually have great stories. Wonder Woman is witty, confident, and also very funny in her own way. The juxtaposition of her Amazon past and her introduction to the human world was shown briefly in the movie, but it is explored in much more depth in the comic series. And, in this author’s humble opinion, Wonder Woman’s path towards understanding humans is much more interesting than Superman’s.
Gal Gadot is the First Wonder Woman on Film
By now you’ve probably seen gifs of the first Wonder Woman movies. Lynda Carter played the role of Wonder Woman in a series of films in 1975-1979. Just like the current movie, those films were set largely during the period of World War II. And, in fact, she was very US-based in that movie (which may have been the root cause of one of the misconceptions we mentioned earlier).
Wonder Woman is the First Female Superhero
Wonder Woman is without a doubt the oldest still running series of comic books about a female superhero, but the title of “First Female Superhero” actually belongs to Fantomah, who first appeared in a superhero comic in 1940.
Her Bracelets are Just a Bulletproof Accessory
Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth is talked about all the time. Same with her costume. Same with her (weird) invisible jet. But I’d like to direct your attention to her bracelets.
You see, they’re not just bulletproof accessories. They are full of subtext and meaning. It is said that these bracelets (which are worn by all Amazon warriors) represent shackles that keep their powers limited. In the mythology of the Amazon warriors it is said that if the shackles would be broken, their full power and fury would be unleashed unto their capturers.
This subtext wasn’t mentioned in the movies, but it is an interesting detail nonetheless.